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Why Parrot is Important

Jun 18, 2009, 15:03 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Allison Randal)

"And yet, there are signs that the current set of programming languages and language features are inadequate for both pressing and emerging problems. For example, support for concurrency is woefully deficient. Hardware is moving rapidly down the path of multiple cores, but software already lags far behind. Few applications take full advantage of the computing power available to them.

"To be sure, writing concurrent software is hard, but for all the wrong reasons. Humans are perfectly capable of parallelism (as anyone who has watched TV while reading email, eating a sandwich, and drinking a soda knows). Computers are perfectly capable of parallelism, too. But the available abstractions for humans to tell computers how to behave concurrently are hopelessly primitive. What concurrent programming needs is a flash of inspiration like the one that turned hash tables from an abstract theoretical feature into an easy to use, everyday, don't-even-think-about-it Dictionary in Python or Hash in Perl."

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